You have designed the perfect plan for your personal training clients. You are confident that if they follow this plan, they are going to get great results!
You check in with them regularly to make sure they stay on track.
And most of them do…
But despite your best efforts some of them fall off the wagon. First they miss one workout, then two – then they skip an entire week’s worth of workouts!
Next thing you know, these once motivated clients are now past clients, an unfortunate but not uncommon part of personal training.
This not only hurts your client’s results but really impacts your personal training business. As a personal trainer, you need clients to commit and stay committed. And it’s up to you to help hold your personal training clients accountable throughout the process.
In this post we’ll share some tips for just doing that. We’ll go over the steps you can take along the way to help clients stay committed on their fitness journey – bringing them better results and helping you run a more successful business.
- Chapter 1: Set expectations about shared responsibility
- Chapter 2: Set the ground rules
- Chapter 3: Make training effortless for yourself and your clients
- Chapter 4: Have regular review sessions
- Chapter 5: High motivation = automatic accountability
Set expectations about shared responsibility
When onboarding a new client, it’s important to first set expectations about how responsibility is shared in personal training.
You and your client are a team. You can’t have one without the other, and each person has a distinct set or responsibilities. As a trainer you are responsible to design a fitness program that will help clients achieve their goals. And as a client they have a responsibility to execute the plans.
Most trainers make the mistake of creating a relationship where they shoulder all the responsibility. This never ends well!
You see, it is easier for humans to give up when they can put the blame on factors that are outside of their control, but they will go the extra mile when they know that they have no one but themselves to blame.
It’s important to make sure you are clear with your clients about their own levels of responsibility in a training program. Set these expectations early on with every client.
Set the ground rules
While setting expectations, it’s also important to get clear on ground rules. You need to tell your client exactly how the training will work and what they need to do. Give your client detailed instructions so that they can easily uphold their end of the program.
Does he need to track his workouts? How should he do that? What details do he need to provide?
What about his nutrition? Should he use MyFitnessPal to track his meals? Or should he send you a photo journal?
Does he need to provide that information at the end of the day or during their weekly review meeting?
Does he need to fill out any weekly check-in form? How should he go about doing it?
Your clients need all of this info and more handed to them at the very beginning. Consider making a welcome package that the client can use as a reference throughout the training to always know what’s expected of them.
This way, you won’t have to worry about a client coming back to you and saying that he didn’t know what was required of him. This goes back to the responsibilities that we discussed previously. You are responsible for creating a plan and providing everything the client needs to execute it with no problem.
Make training effortless for yourself and your clients
Your clients have busy and stressful lives. They might be balancing work, school, children, and more. Joining a training program is all new to them, and just one more thing on their busy schedule. They not only have to make time to do their fitness routine but also provide regular updates to keep themselves accountable.
One of the things you can do is to make it easy for clients to stay on track and to keep you up to date. Don’t ask for more updates then needed. Have a system in place or use online personal training software like Trainerfu that makes it easy for your clients without taking too much of their precious time.
For instance if your clients are using Trainerfu, they have everything available to them on their Trainerfu client app. They can see what workout they need to do and when. And when it is time to track they simply need to click a few checkboxes and they’re done! You can see the updates on your trainer app right away. You can also use the app to schedule reminders and send regular check-in messages automatically.
Make your training easily fit into your clients’ busy schedules. This will help your clients stay on track, and help you retain more of them.
Have regular review sessions
A big part of accountability is having regular check-in sessions with clients where you can measure progress and see how a client is doing.
Use review sessions as an opportunity to see what is working well and what needs improvement. Listen to your clients. Are they excited and engaged? Or frustrated and unmotivated? Your review sessions can be the difference that helps them stay on track.
Once again, TrainerFu can be helpful here as it easily lets you see how your client has progressed over the past weeks and months. You can use the info that’s recorded in the app to inform your review sessions, and call out your clients when needed.
High motivation = automatic accountability
Motivation and accountability go hand in hand. As a personal trainer, it’s up to you to keep your clients motivated. There are quite a few different ways you can do this.
One thing to do often is revisit a client’s “why”. What was their reason for starting your training program? What’s their motivation? Constantly check in with clients and remind them why they started. This will help them stay committed to their goals. .
Another huge player when it comes to motivation is community support. In fact, community based physical activity like walking groups and exercise buddies has been proven to be more effective in keeping people active.
As a personal trainer, you are providing some level of community support to clients, but you can take it even further. Do you have two clients with similar goals? Introduce them to each other so they can help hold one another accountable.
You can also build a community of clients, where everyone can come together to share their wins, ask questions, and get support in a group setting. TrainerFu makes it easy to do this. You can set up a group newsfeed, similar to other social media sites, that lets clients share and interact with one another.
Lastly, if a client needs a quick motivation boost, consider setting a short term goal. For example, if your client’s overall goal is to lose 45lbs, but that’s feeling a little far away, help them set a goal they can achieve sooner. This goal might be to cook four healthy meals at home during the week.
This type of goal is measurable and achievable, and ultimately still supports their overall goal of weight loss. And most importantly, once the client reaches this short term goal, they will feel accomplished and more motivated to keep going.
Holding personal training clients accountable starts from the very beginning of a training program. Start by setting expectations and letting clients know what you will do for them, and what they need to do for themselves. From there, explain clearly to clients how to uphold their responsibilities in a training program. Make it easy for them to do their part.
Check in with clients regularly with informed review sessions. Use techniques to keep them motivated like checking in with their goals, creating community based support systems, and using smaller goals when a client needs a boost.
Holding clients accountable will help them get better results which build your reputation as a personal trainer. This means more new clients, better client retention, and ultimately a more profitable business.
Having the right tools, like the TrainerFu app, can make it much easier to keep clients on track. Use the app to build out amazing programs and give clients a platform to effortlessly check in so that you can monitor their progress. Download the app to get started today.